Kansas City is where musical traditions thrive, and this can be felt in every street you pass by in the form of jazz, classic, pop, and hip-hop culture. Chords and strains are built into the city’s foundation, and the music venues you can find here are striking proof of that. Moreover, while jazz set the backdrop for KC’s music scene, the place now has distinct spots dedicated to appreciating all different genres, ranging from grand theatres and music galleries to dive jazz saloons. As long as you know where to look, you’ll find gems that would leave you in awe for a long time to come. If you’re a music enthusiast at heart who’s looking to explore only the best of the music venues in Kansas City, you’re at the right place. Here is our list of the top seven music destinations to check out.
Artistically named after its open-sky backdrop, Starlight Theatre is the place to be when you want to enjoy live music in a glamorous outdoor setting. The theatre is ideal for experiencing memorable musical and theatrical performances. The Theatre’s brick arches and tower lighting the sky during night performances are an aesthetic delight all on their own. Plus, it’s a bonus you would never see coming that the theatre is explicitly designed such that there is no bad seat in the house! No matter how close or far you get a place to enjoy the concert, you’ll still have an epic view of the stage from all angles. Simply put, Starlight Theatre is an iconic music venue that only a few other destinations could ever rival!
One thing makes Kansas City’s Knuckleheads Saloon stand apart – you can’t possibly find a more laid-back venue for music like it in the city. It welcomes millions of people from around the world every year! With one open-air stage and two indoor stages, it is nestled beside an atmospheric setting of railroad tracks and roadside atmosphere, this is one of the best music venues in Kansas City, one that you should visit if you like to move to classic pop tunes and hip-hop beats. Above all, Knuckleheads Saloon is one of the best live music joints to check out, especially if you favor locally loved establishments!
Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
The backdrop for Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland can be best described as “enticingly fancy” and “royal-like.” No matter where your eyes land, you’ll find something that grabs your attention. Imagine giant crystal chandeliers, masterful displays of Baroque architecture, antique art, and gilded ceilings that ensure fantastic acoustics, and you’ve got yourself the perfect setting for enjoying a musical night that’s nothing less than luxurious. Plus, you know a place is worth visiting when there is a myriad of top local and international artists playing on its stage! Since this theatre is located at an ideal spot close to bars, hotels, and restaurants, you can always visit those destinations either before or after the show to have a great time.
The Phoenix Jazz Lounge
This historic lounge located in the historic Phoenix hotel was originally rumored to be a bordello in the 1880s, this establishment has been operating as a live music venue for decades. If you’re looking to have some drinks and grab scrumptious food while taking in the brassy, jazz rhythms, The Phoenix Jazz Lounge should be your go-to music venue! The live music starts playing every evening at six (except for Sundays), welcoming the house-favorite bands to jazz up the night with jam sessions and open mic events. If nothing else, you should not miss out on their chicken and waffles that further lure the visitors into falling in love with the cozy, local-friendly jazz club!
Steinway Kansas City
Steinway Kansas City, also known as the Steinway Piano Gallery of Kansas City, is one location you must visit when you want to indulge in classical music. While this may not be a concert venue or a jazz lounge, it’s still an establishment worth visiting if you love everything about pianos and the music played on them. SKC is the first and only exclusive Steinway-authorized showroom you’ll find in the city. The visitors can experience the brand’s rich legacy and commitment to the craft firsthand. Showcasing the complete product line of Steinway, Boston, and Essex pianos, you can expect nothing less than a world-class experience here, all set in a modernly styled environment. Whether you’re looking to purchase a piano, piano services, music education, or simply wanting to learn about the Steinway heritage, Steinway Kansas City welcomes everyone graciously at this haven for music lovers!
Green Lady Lounge
If there’s one thing you’ll find in abundance in Kansas City, it’s jazz joints. After all, considering that jazz clubs are staples of the music life in KC, you can’t expect anything less than that. However, if you’d rather only visit the top jazz bars that exemplify the perfect fusion of jazz and Kansas culture, you should head down to the Green Lady Lounge. This lounge features the top Kansas City jazz musicians. The Green Lady Lounge is known for its authentic “jazzy feel” with a main floor and basement setting with the same classy vibe and dim-lit backdrop, it also makes a great place for couples looking for the perfect, intimate date night settings, surrounded by soothing live music.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts might be the ultimate music venue for classical music and the performing arts enthusiast. It is home to the Kansas City Orchestra and Symphony, along with the KC Ballet. Their mission is to provide extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences and they do this by showcasing the top performances from a variety of national and international talents. If you are a classical music lover, attending a performance at the Kauffman Center should be on your list of to-dos.
We hope you have the best time visiting these excellent music venues in Kansas City and get to experience all that these Kansas City music venues have to offer.